I’ve seen Wok and Roll Asian Kitchen advertising on local Facebook pages for a while, and last week my mother and I realized we hadn’t ordered food from a Pine Grove restaurant in a while. So, on November 11 we decided to try Wok and Roll, which launched in 2017 as an “Asian fusion” restaurant that serves meals inspired by southeast Asian food.
I ordered the Bento Box and my mother ordered the Clay Pot. My mother ordered and paid on the phone, and the person she talked to said it would be about 20 minutes before the meal would be ready. We arrived a little more than 20 minutes later and entered the restaurant.
There were only two couples eating at opposite ends of the restaurant. The staff had masks on, and once we told them about our order, the man behind the cash register told us that our meal was not ready, and so we waited.
Another woman came to the register less than a minute later and asked us if we were there to dine in. We explained that we already talked to the man about our order, so she went back to serving the two couples.
About seven minutes later, the woman came to the register and gave us our food in several Hefty Styrofoam containers in a plastic bag. We were on our way back to Jackson a little before 6:00.
The Bento Box offers you a choice between eggplant and tofu, and I chose tofu in part to see how their tofu compared to tofu at other locations, especially Thai Siam in Martell. When I opened my Styrofoam container, I was surprised to see eight large sticks of lightly-fried tofu looking like steak fries sitting atop a bed of steamed rice.
Next to the rice and tofu was a small green salad with a lidded cup of dressing on top. In the two small sections within the container, one included pickled ginger and kimchi and the other had two potstickers and two lidded cups of soy sauce.
I took a bite of the potstickers and it looked and tasted like they had meat in them. After I first published this article, Tyx Pulskamp from Rosebud’s Café looked at the above photo and confirmed that those were vegetarian potstickers. They tasted as good as any other Asian restaurant I’ve eaten at.
Eating the tofu was like eating steak fries, but instead of dipping into ketchup, I was dipping into one of the cups of soy sauce. (My mother took the other cup for her meal.) Each piece was evenly fried with light seasoning. One of the pieces was so thick, it was almost square, but this piece and the others were well-cooked and easy to eat.
Once I got to the steamed white rice, I found it was steamed well but wasn’t thick enough for me to eat it with chopsticks as I could with the ginger and kimchi. Both the kimchi and ginger were tasty but weren’t so spicy as to be overwhelming. The side salad included romaine lettuce, half slices of cherry tomatoes, and small slices of red onion. The dressing was a light thousand island that didn’t overwhelm the taste of the fresh vegetables.
The Clay Pot didn’t come in a clay pot but in a plastic lidded bowl. The bowl contained chicken, mushrooms, eggplant, bamboo shoots, green onions, snow peas, bok choy, broccoli, and ginger. An over-easy egg adorned the layers of meat and vegetables, and bits of vegetables and ginger sat atop the egg. A side dish of steamed rice sat in a separate Styrofoam box.
The meal also contained tomatoes, a vegetable not listed in the menu, but she didn’t mind. The ginger was in a layer at the bottom of the bowl, though and she found eating the ginger by itself a little overwhelming. My mother decided to eat the meal in layers as it was, and she thought the meat was well cooked with no issues and the vegetables were cooked but still had a crunch.
She also liked her rice, but like me, she found that it was only moderately sticky and clumps of rice fell off each forkful.
We both found our food to be well cooked and tasty. My mother reported that the steamed rice she saved for later was just as good during the next day’s lunch. She also wondered if she would have had an actual clay pot if she dined in the restaurant.
In sum, Wok and Roll is…fine. We enjoyed our meals, but there’s nothing that makes their food stand out from the rest of the Asian restaurants we’ve tried so far.
Green light from both of us.
Want to Try Them?
Wok and Roll Asian Kitchen is open from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays, and from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays. They have limited dine-in seating and take out.
You can view the Wok and Roll menu and photos of their food on their Facebook page. When you’re ready to order, call them at 209-296-4800. If you order take-out, you may want to pad the estimated time for readiness they give you by 10 or 15 minutes.
Amador Business Ticker food reviews are adventures in local dining with Editor Eric Butow and his mom.